Page:Memoirs of Vidocq, Volume 2.djvu/168

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peared to me sufficient. I mentioned it to M. Henry, who thereupon sent out his spies. The result of the inquiry was as I had foreseen: they found out the porter; and Coco being confronted with him, was overwhelmed by the evidence, and sentenced by the tribunal to two years' imprisonment.

At this period there was in Paris a band of fugitive galley-slaves, who daily perpetrated robberies, without any hope being entertained of putting a termination to their plunderings. Many of them had been apprehended, and acquitted for want of evidence; obstinately entrenched in absence of witnesses, they had long braved the attempts of justice, which could neither oppose to them the testimony of the commission of crime, nor proofs of guilt. To surprise them properly, it would have been necessary to know their domicile; and they were so well concealed, that discovery seemed impossible. Amongst them was one named France (called Tormel), who, on coming to the Force, had nothing more urgent than to ask me for ten francs, to pay his footing, and I was not inclined to refuse his demand. He soon came to join me, and feeling obliged to me, did not hesitate to give me his confidence. At the time of his arrest he had concealed two notes of a thousand francs, from the police, which he gave to me, begging me to advance him money, from time to time, as he needed it. "You do not know me," said he, "but these bills speak for me; I trust them to you, because I know they are better in your hands than in mine; some time or other we will change them, which now would be difficult, and we must wait." I agreed with France, as he wished; I promised to be his banker, as I risked nothing.

Apprehended for violent burglary at an umbrella shop in the passage Feydeau, France had been often, interrogated, and constantly declared that he had no residence. However, the police had learnt that he had an abode; and it was the more interesting to learn it, as it would lead to discovery of instruments of rob-